Sunday, July 08, 2007

City of Baraboo

City of Baraboo

Barry B. Longyear

Date: September, 2000   —   $14.95   —   Book

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Fiction, Science Fiction

This book and its sequels are hailed for capturing not only the feel of the circus but its impotance to those who are a part of it. Baraboo, Wisconsin is the birthplace of the Ringling Brothers circus and home to the Circus Museum, and it is fitting that Longyear used it in his future tale of a dying circus— the last circus on Earth— who, desperate to escape the regulations that are strangling them on Earth, take the show to the stars. Within the first story, they not only convince their owners to let them try, they manage to get a ship of their own... not without a little finagling, since the builders want to convert and sell it to a warlike group.

Subsequent stories deal with their tours on various planets, including competition with the new circus set up by their old employers, particularly the chair, who felt that he was made a fool of. Such men are dangerous, and a series of quickly escalating conflicts will prove to be dangerous in the end for the City of Baraboo.

City of Baraboo was originally published as a series of short stories, but I leave it in the book category because they flow naturally into one another.

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